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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ody Enthusiasts,

Last night I took delivery of my 2002 Ody EX. Now I get to join the fray of happy Ody owners.

I intend to stick with the manual's recommendation to use only 5W-20 motor oil. The question is: Which brands are fellow Ody owners using?

I have been a long proponent of synthetics, especially Mobil 1. Of course, Mobil 1 does not sell a 5W-20, so that's out. I don't care much for Amsoil. In my area, I have seen 5W-20 sold by the following vendors:

1) Honda
2) Valvoline
3) Pennzoil
4) Exxon
5) Mobil (non-synthetic)
6) Motorcraft (Ford)

I'd like to stick with some main-stream vendor, but have no clue (and no data) to decide if any of the above brands are any better than the other. Given that, I'm tempted to just buy the Honda-branded motor oil. But then I remembered that generally, oil with the car-manufacturer's name is not made by the manufacturer, but some other vendor which can change frequently even though it comes in the same exact bottle. That makes me hesitant to just buy the Honda oil.

Does anyone out there have any opinions on the choice of brand for the 5W-20 SL grade of oil? Does anyone have any definitive data giving performance specifications on their 5W-20? Even the oil manufacturer's web sites are not very detailed with performance information...

Thanks for any advice/opinions...

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Mobile and Exxon are the same company. They have very good products... some of the best of major brands. Valvoline performs the poorest (in pure data-driven numbers). Pennzoil is not much better. Funny, those are two of the biggest sellers... tells you something, doesn't it. Quaker State is the highest quality dino out there... I'm talking about lab tests here. No zinc, good burn temp, polimer hold-up, etc. I don't know if they make a 5W-20.

If you're going to be this stringent on picking an oil, you should quickly realize that chosing 5W-30 (Mobile synthetic or Amsoil) is the best choice... even for 2002. Remeber, the 20 designation is for fuel economy and NOT ultimate engine protection (Ford admits this openly). Any major brand you pick will easily perform to spec. You will never have any engine problems due to your choice in oil (if a major brand is used, in the proper weight and changed on schedule).

This is MY two cents worth. (Can't believe I have to make a legal disclaimer on a FORUM!!)
 

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"Remeber, the 20 designation is for fuel economy and NOT ultimate engine protection (Ford admits this openly)."

CMT4: Can you post a link on this? Preferably Ford official statement.
 

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Sorry, I don't have any links to post. I read that in several publications... yes, there are STILL magazines published that are NOT on the internet. I'm sure others here can point you in that direction.

The second number on an oil's listing is the performance of that oil at high temp. The 20 (in 5W-20) means that the oil performs like a 20 weight oil at high temp (the oil itself is a 5 weight base oil). The 30 (5W-30), a 30 weight oil. A 20 weight oil is much thinner than a 30 weight oil and will provide less "friction" to the engine: better MPG. However, it is a thinner oil and will not provide the same LEVEL of protection as a 30 weight (all things equal). This is especially important in climates above 100 degrees.

You don't need Ford's official statement... these are basic mechanical concepts.
 

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Personally I'm with CMT4. I plan to use 5W30 (and perhaps even 10W30 in summer or for long trips) in my 2002 Odyssey. I have no concerns whatsoever that doing so will cause mechanical harm to my engine; quite to the contrary I believe I will be trading some fuel economy for improved engine life in the long term (> 100,000 miles).

I do not work for Honda and this is my personal opinion only; I am not recommending anything to anybody. If you happen to follow my lead you are doing so entirely at your own risk.

I will add, somewhat in passing, that I have a doctoral degree in engineering from MIT, I am employed as an engineer for a major oil company, and automobiles are my passion and hobby.
 

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What the story with temperature? Does it refer to after you start your car or before?
100 degrees of protection before you crank up or after, I mean the engine gets really hot after you've been on the road and I live in Puerto Rico.

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CMT4's reference to 100 degrees refers to the ambient temperature, not the engine temperature. In hot climates engines need the protection offered by thicker oil grades (and/or synthetic); conversely in cold climates they need the protection offered by oils that flow quickly when cold, i.e. thin oils and/or synthetic oils.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi all,

I was the originator of this thread, but I should have explained *why* I intend to stick with the recommended 5W-20 weight. I'm concerned about warranty coverage. Given the way the manual is worded regarding use of 5W-20, I think Honda would be within its rights to refuse warranty coverage if there is engine failure and I happen to have anything other than 5W-20 in the crankcase. I know that using a 5W-30 instead of a 5W-20 won't cause engine failure, but given how companies will often look for any reason to escape having to pay a warranty claim, I'm afraid to use anything other than what meets manufacturer's requirements. In other words, if there were no warranty coverage on this vehicle, I'd probably be using Mobil 1 5W-30. So it's the warranty coverage I'm concerned about.

Comments?

Dennis

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Read your manual again. The wording is something to the effect that "if 5W20 oil is not available, 5W30 may be used but it should be changed to 5W20 at the next oil change".

Thus in the very unlikely event that your engine failed and Honda wanted to blame it on your engine oil, you could always claim that you had every intention to change it out to 5W20 at your next change.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rg:
Personally I'm with CMT4. I plan to use 5W30 (and perhaps even 10W30 in summer or for long trips) in my 2002 Odyssey. I have no concerns whatsoever that doing so will cause mechanical harm to my engine; quite to the contrary I believe I will be trading some fuel economy for improved engine life in the long term (> 100,000 miles).
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rg, I agree completely with you and CMT4 and have no reservations at all about using 5W-30 in place of 5W-20 in the '02 Odys.

With my foot to the floor driving style, the gas mileage improvement with 5W-20 would be negligible as far as I'm concerned.

Beside, I've got a shelf full of 5W-30 Texaco Havoline to use up from the last sale at Target.




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'02 Ody EX-L(Mods: still considering options).
'96 Maxima SE(Mods: FSTB, RSTB, RSB, Winter Blizzaks on GXE rims).
'87 Honda mower(No mods).
 

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I don't use Amzoil products, but below is a link to their opinion on using 5W-20 vs. heavier weight oils if anyone cares to read it.

BTW. This odyclub.com Forum 5w-20 discussion is pretty much the same as on the Ford Truck forums I use to hang out on and still visit from time to time. I sold a '88 Ford Aerostar mini-van bought new to buy the '02 Ody. Interestingly, my Aerostar was pretty much trouble free, not typical from what I gathered from the Aerostar forum even though I towed a trailer weighing over 5000lbs for many miles. Guess I got lucky or the do-it-myself maintenance payed off.

http://www.guarding-our-earth.com/amsoil/5w20-cafe.shtml
 

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Thanks Aardvaark, the Amsoil link is interesting and fully supports the view that use of 5W20 is, shall we say, "optional"
 

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If no other information were available, I would use the 5-30, especially in the heat of summer in the South because the film strenth will be higher. As I have posted in an other thread, I am big on Royal Purple synthetic. The techs there explained to me that in their product, the film strength (which ultimately determines the protection of the moving parts) for their 5-30 is the same as for their 5-20. They also indicated, because of this, the 5-20 is the better product to use as it provides equal protection with the benefit of lower pumping losses. Should information appear later to the contrary (5-30 giving better protection than 5-20) then I would switch to the 5-30 as engine protection is more important to me than fuel mileage. I still use the 5-30 in my Maxima and at some point I'll switch both cars to the same product. I have not decided which one yet.

Just my 2 cents
John
 
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